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Armed group attacks state radio, TV in Congo

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 30, 2013 at 10:56 a.m.

DAKAR, Senegal — Assailants armed with machetes and automatic weapons attacked the state television station, the airport and the main military base in Congo's capital in what appeared to be a coup attempt early Monday, before being repelled by the country's military, officials and witnesses said.

Congo's government spokesman Lambert Mende confirmed the attack, saying around 40 people were killed in the exchange of fire Monday morning, including 16 at the military base, 16 at the airport and eight at the TV station. Another six were captured, he said. He also confirmed that shooting had broken out in Lubumbashi, the country's second-largest city located in southeastern Congo, though by afternoon calm had returned.

"These are terrorists, you can't call them anything else," Mende said.

Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.

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Fdworfe says... December 30, 2013 at 12:48 p.m.

Few will ever speak candidly for fear of accusations of bias, but anyone on Planet Earth who even fleetingly follows what goes on in much of the Continent of Africa are long since beyond the stage of surprise or real hope for anything more than diplomatic words, a bit of patchwork, a handout, a refugee rescue here and there—but mostly we shake our heads and quietly despair. The truth is that no one has ever come up with one phrase, sentence or paragraph that’s made a permanent, widespread difference in resolving that continent’s problems. Sure, it’s easy to say kind things like “one person at a time”, “we’ve got to try”, “we can’t give up”, on-and-on. It’s the feel good sort of thing, a warm-fuzzy utterance that we of humankind could hardly do without. But the age-old reality of Africa does not change; we just keep talking; we just keep sympathizing, for that is about all we of the world can do. Some would argue that only colonization has ever been even somewhat effective; others will say colonization is unthinkable in the modern world. So we keep talking; Africa keeps demonstrating that for the large part, it is incapably of self-governance, self-education, self-sustenance or self-anything else.

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